Disability stereotypes

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In an earlier post I wrote about what it means to tell someone else’s story. Here’s a little follow-up.

Check out this site: http://www.accessuvic.ca/student-accessibility-issues8.html. This link goes to their list of top ten stereotypes of disabled people. It even gives examples for each type of stereotype. Wow!

I got a kick out of reading this list. Here is a shortened version of it. Please visit the website listed here for more detail on each stereotype.

Disabled people as…

  • Inspirations
  • Deviant, sinister and evil
  • Victims
  • Exotic freaks
  • Clowns
  • Pitiful and sweet
  • Twisted and bitter
  • Burden and outcast
  • Non sexual
  • Incapable of full participation in everyday life

These are stereotypes when they are used against people or used to lump an entire group of diverse people into one narrow group. Some people prefer to be considered evil, inspirational, or exotically freakish. That’s up to each individual person. We can’t decide it for each other.

When I put together this documentary, I have to follow each artist’s lead and let them tell their own story and show their own identities. It’s not up to me to decide if the people I show should be portrayed as pitiful, sweet, bitter, outcast, or geniuses who overcome all challenges in life.

Did I miss any stereotypes? Leave a comment here if you want to add some more to the mix!

Stereotypes do not go away unless we bring them up and show why they are unfair.